De Goeie Bos (The Good Forest)

The world's first snack forest

De Goeie Bos The Good Forest Borrelbos products merel witteman

Food is what keeps us alive, but the way we produce it is devastating to the planet. Industrial agriculture contributes to around 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions and wears out the earth thanks to its monocultural nature. It basically treats the earth like thrash.


The food forest is an age-old alternative to industrial agriculture, currently often embraced by those who live their lives sustainable, organic, active and healthy. And though food forests’ main advantages are their healthy, organic produce and eco-friendly ways, there is more to them than just that. Food forests are also a lot of fun. The Good Forest especially.


The Good Forest (in Dutch known as ‘De Goeie Bos’) is a forest of snacks. Its harvest will be used to produce drinks and snacks. From beer, cider and lemonade to croquettes, spreads, fries and pickles. This first-ever snack forest is located in Dongen, the Netherlands and is run by farmer’s children Paul, Judith and Frank Kimenai. Their plot has been known for generations as ‘De Goeie’ – which translates to The Good, and what comes off it, is good as well: The Good Nuts, The Good Croquettes, and The Good Beer … In short: the good life.


What better place to feast on guilty pleasures without the guilt than a forest that offers junk food that isn’t exactly garbage, processed food that’s actually well processed and drinks that get you wasted, without creating waste. Cheers!

De Goeie Bos the Good Forest grows here the world's first snack forestlocation with arrow
This is the (real) location of the Snackforest with a (fake) sign.

Who said food forests are too idealistic, too complicated, 'not for everyone', boring, or produce food for people 'who only eat super healthy'?


De Goeie Bos produces snacks & drinks, for what we in Dutch call 'Borrel'. This Borrelbos has the potential to shift the social image of food forests and make the idea of food forests into something everyone can support, opening the gates to food forestry as food 'industry'. And this good-kind-of-industry can improve the condition of soils, our relation to food, and our ways of producing food. 

De Goeie bos The Good Forest floorplan with planting plan and microclimates
Floorplan of the Good Forest, adjusting planting to the different microclimates, soil types and sun position.
The Good Forest De Goeie Bos in different plant layers grow different ingredients
Different foods grow in different layers

Good ideas for the Good Forest are bundled into one document


Which includes the analysis, the design of the forest and the communication design. This includes e.g. a soil-analysis, planting plan with crop combinations, estimated yields, possible recipes and products, product label designs and a forest floor plan. 

The Good Forest De Goeie Bos folder with all plans and ideas

It'll take 20 years before the forest will provide the snacks and drinks. Late 2020, the first plants and trees of De Goeie Bos were planted. They keep everyone updated via the newsletter and website. So, cheers to waiting a few more years. 


De Goeie Bos is a collaborative project, involving the land owners, local botanical experts, and farmers in the design of the forest. The idea is that the collaboration does not stop here, as the forest also aims at sustainability in a social manner. When the forest is fully grown, local knowledge and local hands will be connected. For example, there is a nursery nearby, filled with people and knowledge on how to conserve foods, make jams and pickles. The Soccer team can turn the knowledge from previous generations into their own after-match snacks, beer can be brewed in collaboration with the local brewery, and the local school children can help making apple juice once a year. This connects the local community directly to (the processing and consuming of) the foods.

De Goeie Bos The Good Forest example Labels
De Goeie Bos the Good Forest products snacks
All snacks and drinks from the Good forest are... good
De goeie bos the good forest snacks and spreads

Project credits

Client: De Goeie Bos

Concept: Maartje Slijpen & Merel Witteman

Forest design: Merel Witteman

Visual identity: Maartje Slijpen